23 lawyers suspended indefinitely

Bar association’s president seeks chief justice’s forgiveness over misconduct


Saqib Bashir May 05, 2021
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD:

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday further extended the suspension of licences of 23 lawyers in the misconduct case in IHC vandalism. A larger bench headed by Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard the case pertaining to misconduct committed by lawyers during attack on IHC building.

The court instructed the senior lawyers to prepare a list of lawyers who were involved in the incident of vandalising the high court building during their violent protest. The Islamabad Bar Association (IBA) President Fareed Kaif tendered an apology from Islamabad High Court (IHC) on the high court attack case.

The hearing on the petition of misconduct against the lawyers presided over by a three-member bench, comprising IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Miangul Hasan Aurangzaib, and Justice Lubna Saleem Pervaiz on Tuesday.

IHC has suspended the license of ex-president IBA Riyasat Ali Azad and sought an affidavit from him. The official is accused of instigating the lawyers on the attack on the high court building. At the onset of the hearing, Mushtaq Chaudhry said that he was the counsel of the IBA president and asked the court which affidavit they should submit.

He also sought a copy of the complaint so that they could submit a reply. At this, IHC chief justice recalled that Shoaib Shaheen was right in saying that the impression that the whole lawyers’ community was involved in the attack was wrong. He added that it was not a usual action and no outsider was part of it.

In response, Chaudhry said, “You also know and we also fold our hands and seek pardon”. Justice Minallah remarked did the court not remain shut on February 8 and the judges were held hostage.

The chief justice asked how the impression could be dispelled that the whole lawyers’ community was not involved in the incident. Shaheen said that the media vilified them and used terms such as ‘Wukla Gardi’.

Minallah said that they respected the dignity of the bar and would close the hearing if they are given the list comprising names of the lawyers involved in the attack. He expressed that the lawyers should have been ashamed but many things happened afterward the incident as well. “They (lawyers) instigated to surround IHC building,” he added.

The chief justice further said that politics was also played on February 8 incident. “The bar should come and tell the names of lawyers and ask us to send a reference against them and release others”, he said.

Shaheen said that they condemned the incident in the court. At this, Minallah remarked that he would not say anything to the people who said things against him and reiterated that the constitutional court remained dysfunctional for a day.

He asked if the court should publish advertisements for the lawyers who have not submitted their answers in the misconduct case.

Pointing towards the lawyers standing in the rostrum, Minallah asked the name of the woman who had thrown a stone. Shaheen replied that he could not recall it but Marwat informed that her name was Zile Huma.

IBA president pleaded Justice Minallah to show a big heart and forgive them. He maintained that everything happened suddenly and that they were ready to apologise 100 times. At this, the chief justice said it was not a matter of apology while adjourning the hearing of the case indefinitely.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2021.

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